Master how to make fried eggs better than any diner. Whether you like them sunny side up or over easy, prepare to grab a skillet and get cracking!

Frying eggs is a basic culinary skill that is easy to master. No matter how you like your fried eggs cooked, it helps to think of a fried egg on a spectrum of doneness.

Sunny side up eggs, with the softest yolks, take the least time to cook. Over hard eggs, with fully-cooked yolks and whites, are cooked the longest. All involve the same general fried egg technique, just employing different cooking times.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. How to Fry Eggs Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Eggs: Farm fresh or right out of the carton. Depending on the size of your eggs (medium, large, extra-large, or jumbo) you may need to cook them a little more or less than the recipe states.
  • Butter or olive oil: You can’t make a wrong choice between the two. If you prefer, you can also substitute clarified butter, bacon fat, or a generous coating of nonstick spray.

Step-by-step instructions

  • Over medium heat, add the butter or oil to a skillet. When the pan is hot, add the egg (or eggs) and cook undisturbed until the whites are set and no longer clear.
  • For eggs sunny side up, cook the egg until the egg whites around the edge of the yolk are just barely opaque. No need to flip the egg.
  • For eggs over easy, carefully flip the egg over and continue to cook for 30 seconds longer. The yolk should still be soft inside but cooked on the outside.
  • For eggs over medium, carefully flip the egg over and continue to cook for 1 minute. The yolk should be tender but not runny.
  • For eggs over hard, flip the egg and cook for 2 ½ minutes, until the yolk is firm and cooked through.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Make ahead: Eggs are best when made just before you plan to eat them.
  • Pick the right pan: I recommend a good-quality non-stick skillet for cooking delicate eggs. If you love your cast iron skillet, though, by all means use it; just make sure it’s adequately seasoned (for a non-stick surface) and pre-heated before adding the eggs.
  • Temperature check: I find medium heat works best so the eggs cook evenly.
  • Don’t fear the fat: Flipping eggs can be tricky. Adequately oiling the skillet before cracking the eggs in can make the process easier, so don’t skip this step.
  • Stagger cooking times: Once you get the hang of how to fry eggs, you can add the eggs to the skillet at different intervals so everyone can enjoy the egg they ordered at same time.
  • Steam-basted eggs: Basting uses steam to cook the tops of the eggs without having to flip them and break the delicate yolk. Once the whites are set, pour 1 tablespoon hot water into the pan and cover with a lid for about 30 seconds. The steam will cook the tops of the eggs gently.

More breakfast recipes

How to Fry Eggs

Master how to make fried eggs better than any diner. Whether you like them sunny side up or over easy, grab a skillet and get cracking!
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 8 mins
Servings 1 serving
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 135

Ingredients 

  • 1 egg or more (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil (see note 2)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper for serving, optional

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, crack egg carefully (if frying more than one egg, we suggest cracking each egg into a separate bowl).
  • In a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming subsides and swirl to coat the entire inside surface of the pan. Carefully add the egg (or eggs) one at a time.
  • For sunny-side up eggs, cook until the whites are completely cooked but yolks are still soft. Remove immediately, season with salt and pepper to taste if desired, and serve.
  • For over-easy eggs, cook until the whites are completely cooked but yolks are still soft. Flip the eggs over and cook for an additional 20 to 30 seconds. Remove immediately, season with salt and pepper to taste if desired, and serve.
  • For over-medium eggs, cook until the whites are completely cooked but yolks are still soft. Flip the eggs over and cook for an additional 30 to 60 seconds. Remove immediately, season with salt and pepper to taste if desired, and serve.
  • For over-hard eggs, cook until the whites are completely cooked but yolks are still soft. Flip the eggs over and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove immediately, season with salt and pepper to taste if desired, and serve.

Notes

  1. Eggs: Farm fresh or right out of the carton. Depending on the size of your eggs (medium, large, extra-large, or jumbo) you may need to cook them a little more or less than the recipe states.
  2. Butter or olive oil: You can’t make a wrong choice between the two. If you prefer, you can also substitute clarified butter, bacon fat, or a generous coating of nonstick spray.
  3. Make ahead: Eggs are best when made just before you plan to eat them.
  4. Pick the right pan: I recommend a good-quality non-stick skillet for cooking delicate eggs. If you love your cast iron skillet, though, by all means use it; just make sure it’s adequately seasoned (for a non-stick surface) and pre-heated before adding the eggs.
  5. Temperature check: I find medium heat works best so the eggs cook evenly.
  6. Don’t fear the fat: Flipping eggs can be tricky. Adequately oiling the skillet before cracking the eggs in can make the process easier, so don’t skip this step.
  7. Stagger cooking times: Once you get the hang of how to fry eggs, you can add the eggs to the skillet at different intervals so everyone can enjoy the egg they ordered at same time.
  8. Steam-basted eggs: Basting uses steam to cook the tops of the eggs without having to flip them and break the delicate yolk. Once the whites are set, pour 1 tablespoon hot water into the pan and cover with a lid for about 30 seconds. The steam will cook the tops of the eggs gently.

Nutrition

Serving: 1eggCalories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 134mgPotassium: 63mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 488IUCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
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Publisher: Culinary Hill